SoundCloud Finally Strikes a Deal With Sony Music

Breaking: Soundcloud Has Struck A Deal With Sony Music
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According to a just-published report, SoundCloud has now signed a deal with Sony Music, the final major label.

The Sony pact means that SoundCloud has now bagged deals with all three of the major labels.  The signatures started in 2014 with a Warner Music Group deal, which was then followed by a deal with Universal Music Group (as first reported on DMN).  The UMG deal gave SoundCloud permissions over the largest and most important body of recording and publishing assets, and paved the way for Sony to follow suit.

The Universal pact called for SoundCloud to launch a subscription service within 6 months, though DMN sources subsequently pointed to a more likely turnaround of 9 months.  Sony is likely to have placed similar demands prior to signature.

(Strangely, another source to DMN has pointed to some sort of subscription delivery by SoundCloud within a month, though details on that are preliminary but sketchy.)

The signed agreements with all three major labels gives SoundCloud access to a bevy of superstar artists, depending on who’s opting in (or out).  That list would theoretically involve artists like The Weekend, Beyonce, Calvin Harris, Drake, Skrillex, Justin Bieber, and Coldplay, amongst a whole host of others.  That will give SoundCloud a stronger seat against Apple Music and Spotify, not to mention YouTube.

There have also been rumors that SoundCloud’s subscription service will be priced at $10 per month (similar to Spotify and Apple Music) with the inclusion of a lower-priced tier.  The lower-priced tier could offer an edge for SoundCloud, and a possible ‘gateway’ for higher-priced commitments.

Now that the deals are signed, attention will shift towards how the service will transition its 175 million active users who are currently using the service for free.  Will a lower-priced tier be enough to sway the mass free users to the paid promise land?

That’s a tough question, simply because SoundCloud users are accustomed to a totally free environment.  And, more dialed-in SoundCloud fans are likely to have existing subscriptions to Spotify, Apple Music, or Tidal.  That suggests a very huge hurdle ahead, especially for a company facing scary cash-burn and rumors of a near-term shutdown.


(Image by Ashton6460, Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic, cc by 2.0)

11 Responses

  1. Remi Swierczek

    What kind of a DEAL?
    How can you make a deal with non-business or actually antibusiness, stupefied entity using and abusing someones property for no particular purpose!

    I guess liberals at Sony and other labels have some LONG TERM hallucination!

  2. Luuta

    Bugger, don’t use SoundCloud to follow big record companies, the monthly fee would be a total waste of money. Looks like I’ll have to find somewhere else to sell my music. This is a dreadful step for independent music producers.

    • Anonymous

      I totally forgot.
      Soundcloud actually milks creators for free distribution of the fruits of their work.
      They are like con artist peddling CANCER CURE to terminally ill folks.

      • Versus

        You can use this to your advantage as a creator, though…only put a subset of your work up, even only partial previews of tracks; thus it works as a promotion tool without cutting into paying streams and sales.

    • Versus

      How are you selling music on SoundCloud? As far as I know, they do not provide any sales infrastructure.

    • Max is up and coming… if they keep going could be the perfect alternative to soundcloud in a year or so.. 99cents a month or 10 bucks a year.. only a start up can offer these prices smh..

    • Versus

      BandCamp is good except…they require full track previews for streaming. They should allow partial track previews so that such streaming does not cut into potential income.

      • Max is up and coming… if they keep going could be the perfect alternative to soundcloud in a year or so.. 99cents a month or 10 bucks a year.. only a start up can offer these prices smh..

  3. Versus

    SoundCloud should be either restricting or paying out for unauthorized uploads. This includes bootlegs, edits, and mashups. Creative reinterpretation of recordings can lead to fantastic results, and I’ve created my share of such for my own use as a DJ, but any distribution of them should be licensed and paid for (if the original content owner requires it).

    Content ID has to become more sophisticated to handle complex material like mashups, presumably.